Veneered Ply for Galley Worktop?

seanfoster

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I'm currently fitting out the interior of my boat and I'm building cupboards etc in veneered ply.
I was thinking of using it for the worktop, my concern is it's durability around the sink and cooker. If I protect it with a number of coats of varnish would it be up to the job?

I'm just thinking that aesthetically it will match it's surroundings and I've got plenty of it. (I was thinking of doubling up 12mm to give a good solid surface).

Any comments would be appreciated!
 

Quandary

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The problem will be at the edges, but if they are well sealed and hardwood lipped this will help. Round the edges of the lipping to help the coating resist wear. Will need regular sealing/varnishing but will still not last as long as laminate or timber worktop.
Ikea do a cheap beech block worktop, 28mm thick (but still quiteheavy) and needs like all timber to be well secured against warping but durable with an odd rub with oil.
 

seanfoster

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The problem will be at the edges, but if they are well sealed and hardwood lipped this will help. Round the edges of the lipping to help the coating resist wear. Will need regular sealing/varnishing but will still not last as long as laminate or timber worktop.
Ikea do a cheap beech block worktop, 28mm thick (but still quiteheavy) and needs like all timber to be well secured against warping but durable with an odd rub with oil.

I was thinking of using that but have it in my bathroom and moisture gets in to the joints around the sink (no matter how well I try and seal it!)
 

Tranona

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Best way to seal it if you want to show off the veneer is to coat it in epoxy first then a 2 pack varnish. Alternatively laminate it with formica or if you are really posh and you have a reasonably large surface, tile it.
 

Helo&Craig

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We started with the Ikea bench top but the weight was causing problems so now have marine ply with liberal coatings of peanut oil. To early yet to comment on durability but looks nice so far.
 

mitiempo

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It will work if sealed with a few coats of epoxy before the varnish. But the surface veneer is not durable as it is very thin, almost a picture of wood.
I did the galley of a boat I owned in the early 90's with strips of ask, about 1/4" thick and contrasting plugs in teak, sealed with 3 coats of epoxy and top coated with several coats of Epifanes varnish. It has stood up well, the pics below show it after 15 years including a trip from Victoria B.C. to New Zealand and back with the next owner. But I wouldn't do it again - you find yourself treating it like fine furniture and a galley really doesn't need that. Plastic laminate is very durable and easy to replace if it ever becomes necessary.

I would do something like this for the salon table though.
 
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Bajansailor

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Brian, your galley countertop in the photos above is a work of art - I can see why you didnt want to abuse it.
Your strips of timber got me thinking...... I was going to put down a sheet of granitey appearance Formica (or Arborite as it is called out here) on our galley work top, but after making up a template, getting it pretty accurate (I thought), then cutting the formica, I found it wasn't so accurate, and then to compound it all, the Formica cracked across the middle of the panel (it is quite brittle really).
So back to square 1......

And then I thought (after seeing your strips just now) of putting down strips of laminate instead of formica.
I have a batch of cherry interior flooring strips from these folk - http://www.nuteak.com/Frames_Pages/NuTeakInterior.htm which I am going to do the sole in way of the galley and chart table with (complete with the wee holly strips in between).
And I am wondering what it would be like to do a galley worktop with these cherry strips (but without the holly spacers), as I should have some left over.
They should be pretty durable and reasonably heat resistant, wont rot, and are fairly non-skid yet easily cleaned.
Or is this a totally crazy idea?
 

mitiempo

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Thanks for the compliment.

Laminate can be hard to cut if you haven't done it before. I cut it upside down on a piece of wood with a sharp razor knife, not pressing too hard but going over the line several times until cut through. The critical time is the first pass and it has to be done slowly to stay on the line. The succeeding passes will stay in the groove made by the first. If the item to be covered is not built in I cut it about 1/4" oversize and trim it with a laminate trimmer, really a small one hand router using a ball bearing guided bit -a perfect fit to the underlying surface. I also use epoxy instead of contact cement for surfaces likely to get wet, but as it is not sticky it requires spring clamps at the edge and weights over the rest of the surface until it sets.

The cherry strips you linked to are of pvc construction. It might work but the seams will be the issue. You don't want liquids to get underneath. It is probably pretty durable though.

Interestingly one of their pictures shows it on a garage floor, BMW and golf cart parked on top. Seems a bit over the top.
 
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